100 war memorial trees have been planted this year, across 36 parks and public spaces, as part of the city’s commemoration of the centenary of the end of First World War, with a further 200 more to be planted in the coming year.

In creating Centenary Fields around the new war memorial, the council will create a lasting legacy to mark the centenary of the end of WW1, by commemorating the sacrifice of those who lost their lives in conflict and ensuring that communities benefit from protected green spaces now and in the future.

Sheffield already has two designated Fields in Trust at Weston Park and Ochre Dike Recreation Ground. The council now hopes to extend this protection further by protecting areas of the parks where war memorial trees have been planted.

Ribbon cutting at Ochre Dike Playing Fields, Fields in Trust designation ceremony

Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure at Sheffield City Council said:

People in Sheffield are passionate in honouring the memory of all those who have died in conflict and they’re also very passionate about our treasured green spaces. By designating the sites of our newly planted memorial trees as Fields in Trust, we are making sure Sheffielders can pay their respects in protected parks for many generations to come.

We have made a commitment to plant 200 more memorial trees.

This work further demonstrates and brings together our commitments in the newly agreed Building Better Parks strategy, where we have pledged to make our parks the very best they can be, and our Trees & Woodlands strategy which sets out how we will make sure the city’s trees and woodlands thrive and flourish.

If we’re able to designate all of our memorial tree sites as Fields in Trust we will have the highest number of Centenary Fields of any of the English core cities outside of London and wherever you live in the city you’ll be able to remember lost loved ones in a local park.

Centenary Fields is a national initiative being led by Fields in Trust and the Royal British Legion. The Centenary Fields programme 2014-18 aims to protect at least one green space in every local authority area across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

This plan recognises the Council’s significant commitment to not only the commemoration and remembrance of the city’s sacrifice in World War 1 and subsequent conflicts, but also the importance of maintaining and retaining good quality green space for the people of Sheffield.

The Council will work collaboratively with local groups and Fields in Trust in terms of the detailed deeds of covenants for each site and each designation will be designed to best fit with the needs of the site. This will ensure the Council retains appropriate flexibility to provide a wide range of leisure and ancillary facilities for each site, now and in future, whilst making sure the quality and quantity of the green space is not compromised.

The parks where memorials have been planted are Bingham Park, Bolehill Recreation Ground, Chapeltown Park, Charnock Recreation Ground, Cholera Monument, Concord Park, Crookes Valley Park, Ecclesall Woods, Ecclesfield Park, Endcliffe Park, Firth Park, Graves Park, Grenoside Recreation Ground, Herdings Park, High Hazels Park, Hollinsend Park, Longley Park, Manor Fields Park, Meersbrook Park, Middlewood Park, Millhouses Park, Mortomley Park, Mosborough (Hillside), Mount Pleasant Park, Norfolk Heritage Park, Oxley Park, Parkwood Springs, Parson Cross Park, Richmond Park, Rivelin Valley Park, Stannington Park, Tinsley Green Recreation Ground Weston Park and Whirlow Brook Park.

On confirmation of each site’s designation, details will be shared of any official ceremonies taking place.

The decision is expected to be approved at the council’s Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 12 December. The report is available to read in full on the Council’s website.

More about Fields in Trust. 

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